Gimpel The Fool essay example

658 words
Even though romanticism would ask us to find anyway we can to put Gimpel on a pedestal as an example of faith and a good heart, we can't deny that he was a coward to himself and those around him. The little pranks that the village's people would use started in good fun, but quickly turned into a mob mentality to ruin Gimpel's prospects of enjoying a happy life. Gimpel tries to justify himself that he knew in most every event that others were deceiving him, but allowed it for fear that once they might be right, and then he would be the fool. When he met his future wife, he admitted that marry her would probably not be a wise situation. Yet as the community gathered money for the dowry that Elk a requested, a traditional gift usually given to the groom from the bride's parents, Gimpel justifies himself that a whole village would be crazy enough to put him in a bad marriage.

The truth is that he had played the role of the village jester for such a long time that people had no remorse for him. An essayist discussed this, saying "Singer's use of "Gimpel the Fool" demonstrated two lower levels of the human scale. The first is the coward's ability to justify to himself the reasoning behind his behavior. The second is the crowd's ability to pick out the weakling and exploit him for their own amusement.

Gimpel proved he was a fool by all that he did. He allowed himself to be cornered, prodded, and teased yet he never stood up for himself or what he knew to be the truth. He was forced into a life created for the merriment of the villagers and refused to make his own life". The only character that was true to Gimpel was the local Rabbi. As an oracle for the village the Rabbi took the wisdom of the ages and tried to apply them to the people's situations, including Gimpel's for the most part, for their betterment. Although Gimpel rejects the advice to leave his adulterous wife, the Rabbi keeps himself clean taking the matter to the area's rabbinical counsel and letting Gimpel choose which road he will take.

Even with the good advice, Gimpel's logic was skewed, and the only redeemable theme we take from Gimpel's actions was the proof of the paradigm "ignorance is bliss". He allowed his wife to fool him with six children, none of which where his own. Twice he caught her in bed with another man, each time she denied her actions. He allowed the devil to convince him until swayed by another spiritual manifestation of his wife that was just as unreliable.

He never stood by any of his own decisions or thoughts. As each person came into his life he acted the true coward and let people infringe on his every action. Singer just takes the chronology of Gimpel's life to be the form of the short story. No one else's view is really taken to help us understand how others really felt towards Gimpel. The village made him a rich man, but was that more from his industry that his likeability? Did Gimpel feel as though he had friend in any one?

It is unusual that only after he had withstood the promptings of the devil and then the advice of his deceased wife did he leave the village. He felt that finally God had given him some true advice, and he realized that he and only he would have to choose whether to take revenge, or continue with his benign ways of forgiveness. He makes his decision to turn the other cheek, and leaves the city for good. The only choice he ever made for himself.